Sunday, November 6

Seen on the Internet

Sometimes, things you see on the Internet lead you to really cool items. Sometimes, they just lead you to things you thank your lucky stars do not wind up cluttering up your storage. I just got led to doing a "product some other person should review."

Case in point - WINTER TRACTION
Living in North Texas, winter traction is an occasional concern. It is occasional enough that bike stores around here don't carry much of anything to help cyclists deal with it. Studded tires are not really practical since you'd only get to use them a half dozen days at most and they'd be dry rotted LONG before they got any serious wear. Still, I keep my eyes open in the ever-present search to open the commute envelope just that last little bit to allow rides on those few days that eluded me last year. Slick ice. Conveniently, "bike commuters" just posted an article about bicycle tire chains. With a little bit of investigation, I quickly concluded they were not only awfully spendy for the product in question ($85-$95), but wouldn't fit my bike even if money were no object.

Kool Stop Makes Tire Chains in Addition to Brake Pads!
BUT, that got the Internet searching underway. Before long, I discovered that this "slipnot" item was not the first bicycle tire chain, and, in fact, Kool Stop makes or made such a product. I have no idea how much these puppies cost, and whether you need to call Kool Stop and tell them "Vito sent me," but they MIGHT work. Somehow, if I thought they were a mainstream solution, Kool Stop would at least mention their availability. Still, they are a real product, made by a real company, and "Icebike" talks about them here.

A Working Tire (or Tyre) Spray Would be Nice on Days Such as This
BUT, that led to MORE Internet searching and THAT led to a product that sounded almost too good to be true. It is called "Tyre Grip," with a close relative called "Shoe Grip." EUREKA!

Well, you know what they say about things that sound too good to be true, even if you DO read about them on the Internet. I saw one review of "Tyre Grip" on Amazon and it was positive, or at least the reviewer said it "seemed" to work. So I dug a little further, to see if anyone had tried it on a bike. Sure enough, I found a review here. Instantly, my enthusiasm began to abate. The reviewer had a theory that bikes are too light for the product to be very effective. Hmm, perhaps "Shoe Grip" might be better for bikes. After all, pedestrians are a LOT lighter than cars! So I looked a little further. There were no reviews of "Shoe Grip" on Amazon, but I did find that the American mass media still has faint sparks of investigative spunk and there was a review of "Shoe Grip" here. They even gave the manufacturer a chance to rebut their findings. Which tells you how well these reporters thought it worked.

NOW, some of you might go read these reviews. I think, however, that I don't have a strong need for something that will probably gum up my bike mechanicals and that I can find more economical wasp torches. STILL, loyal reader, if someone with whom I have had past contact (employees of "Tyre Grip" and their families are not eligible) wishes to try this stuff, I'd LOVE to hear your experiences. Perhaps one of our Canadian cousins? Just the name "Tyre" should make you feel all squishy and Commonwealthy even if you lot DO spell "tire" correctly, unlike all those "ou" words. HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO BE A REAL CYCLING PIONEER!!!!!!!!!

Sadly, down here, the search for the perfect ice solution continues. My knobby tires are ready and perhaps I'll have better footwear this winter as well...

4 comments:

Chandra said...

Steve,
Will wider tires not help at least a tad in this regard, assuming you can fit them on your bike?

I almost bought Nokian tires for my bike in 2007. Good thing I didn't - not much use for them here in NTX - you are correct!

Paz :)

Justin said...

Why not stud your own tires? find an old set of knobbies (I have some I'll give you)and install some studs?

http://www.maxigripstore.com/maxigrip-ice-studs-hm11/

RANTWICK said...

Grip-In-A-Can seems like a longshot to me. I've never heard of it here in Canuckia, but then again I am pretty clueless.

I like Justin's idea of DIY studs... I've never done it because I didn't think they would be very durable, but you wouldn't need them to be.

Steve A said...

My first approach is to simply put my cyclocross tires on. They are too expensive to put studs on. They work great in the mud pit and will work on all but slick ice. Which seems to baffle the spray as well. The obvious Texas solution is to take a vacation on those four days a decade that are too much for cross tires. Besides, my u lock freezes on such days anyway.

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